Write What You Want to Write
Updated: Jun 13
When I began writing the Dragonsbane series, I had an idea to add horns to one of the Elven Kings in my story. This change to his description was applied in the second draft, and there was a reason behind it (which I cannot divulge due to spoilers), but my BETA readers did not react as I had hoped they would.
Some saw "horns" and immediately thought of Disney's famous villain, Maleficent, while some thought of antlers. Then, there was one who thought the idea of horns on an Elf was simply ridiculous because, "Elves don't have horns".
This prompted me to remove the horns completely, even though I did not want to.
Fast forward to the third draft.
I came across a series on Netflix called The Dragon Prince. So far, I'm only two episodes in, but my kids and I love it. However, the first thing I noticed was all the Elves have horns, and they look amazing!
One of the Elves (pictured here) has the exact shape I imagined for the horns my Elfin king would have, although I pictured them a bit smaller.
The response to this series has been amazing with hundreds of fans already sharing their creative cosplays and fan art across social media, and seeing this reaction prompted me to add the horns back on the Elfin King.
Another idea I had was dragons breeding with other races, but I did not know how readers would react to this idea, and so, one again playing it safe, I left it out.
Then, my husband started up a Dungeons and Dragons group, and asked if I wanted to play. As I was reading through the different races, I came across "Dragonborn". I immediately thought of Skyrim, a popular game I like to play, but these Dragonborn were much different (pictured below).
I also came across a series on an app called "Webtoons", an app where you can read hundreds of comics for free. One of those series was called "Dragnarok", and it mentioned a dragon falling in love with a maiden, so he changed his form to be with her.
The response to this series and D&D's Dragonborn were not as I originally feared they would be, and so I am now revisiting the idea I was once afraid to use.
Morale of the story: Write what you want to write, and don't be afraid. No, you're not going to please everyone, and there will be people who will hate your ideas, but you can't let that stop you. I let it stop me, and now I am seeing my ideas being brought to life by others, and it makes me angry that I let that fear get in the way of my story.
If you're too afraid to write your story, someone else will. So, write the story that makes you happy. Write something you can look back on with no regrets, because you wrote from the heart.
Uncage your imagination, give it wings, and let it take flight.